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Outline the Data Protection Act and give examples of breaches.

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Introduction

MATTHEW ALLEN N5 Data Protection Act What is it? With the growth of information in technology, large databases are needed to hold the huge amounts of information. Global networks are used to share and distribute this information around the world in seconds. In order to control this and to protect people?s right to privacy, the Data Protection Act was introduced in 1984. The 8 basic principles: http://ico.org.uk/for_organisations/data_protection/the_guide/the_principles Data should? 1. Not be transferred to countries that do not have suitable data protection laws - There are similar data protection rules in all European Union countries. It is therefore acceptable to transfer personal data to another EU country, as it will still be protected. However, this principle refers to the European Economic Area (EEA) - this includes Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein. (http://www.soas.ac.uk/infocomp/dpa/policy/outside/). Others countries, such as the United States, have not got suitable data protection laws either so personal data should not be sent to these countries. ...read more.

Middle

1. Be processed within the rights of data subjects - There are other vital privacy rights, as well as the Data Protection Act. These include the right to confidentiality. These affect how personal information can be used by companies. 1. Be obtained for specified and lawful purposes - This adds that the company must have a specific reason for processing data. Also, the data can only be processed for that purpose and no other. 1. Be adequate, relevant and not excessive for the purpose - This means that companies should collect the right amount of information for the fulfil purpose - no more and no less. In order to check whether they are collecting too much data, they look at the data and consider which pieces of information are absolutely critical in order to enable them to do whatever it is they are trying to do. Whatever is left can't be critical, so it would be unnecessary and it therefore should be disposed of. ...read more.

Conclusion

The forces could be punished under the data protection act. G4S (the security firm) said all files had been deleted, but this will come as no reassurance as they may not be trustworthy. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-22265315). A statement said the data sent went over what was required, breaching the data protection act’s principles. This is therefore a breach of the act and a criminal investigation will occur as a result – to see who is to blame before action is taken. 1. A GP's receptionist who accessed sensitive medical information about her ex-husband's new wife has admitted breaching data protection law. She was fined £750. The two medical documents she accessed were referred to as highly confidential. www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=22417. Everybody expects their doctors to be confidential but the information was accessed by someone else. The victim of this crime feels betrayed and vulnerable as someone she barely knows, knows private information about her. What has happened can’t be undone and the fine of £750 will only give a small amount of satisfaction – some will feel that the charge was rather lenient. ...read more.

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